Oh Happy Day

Don’t tell me the Universe doesn’t have a sense of humor. Today proves otherwise.

My son and I were driving to the city today to a gospel brunch. I was feeling the need for some hand-clappin’, soul-soothin’, old-ladies-in-hats kind of music. Something that unites, not divides, in a week where our president spewed more ugly talk. Something simple to take me out of my brain and into my foot-stompin’ body.

The Universe served all of the above to me on a platter, replete with gospel choir and four sweet but sassy little old ladies from Milwaukee who drove to our town for a quick 24 hours. “Thea” and friends hit the gospel cruise yesterday and were in line behind us for the gospel brunch today. As they asked my son to “photofy” them, I pondered what led us to them. He snapped away with their mobile phones, taking pictures, as I giggled to myself. Jesus led us to them. Literally. On the way to the city, the car that pulled in front of us on the highway had a vanity plate that read: “JESUS.” So yes, folks, Jesus led us to the gospel brunch today, as well as to Thea and her friends. How apropos.

I’ve been slow to write blogs lately. So much of what I want to say is personal. And locally, I have far too many voyeurs reading. I don’t mind the ones that read because they like what I write, the ones that read because they want a real conversation with me. But the ones who read and judge, who read and criticize, who read and gossip about it—those are the ones that always give me pause. I am sure I’m not interesting enough to be cocktail party conversation often but when I am, it drives me nuts. And so, this scenario gives me pause before I write about anything happening in my life.

But here we go—I needed a dose of little-old-ladies-who-love-Jesus this week because my eldest reminds me of the worst parts of my ex more and more. And my one prayer during my divorce—besides “Lord Jesus, help me keep the house” was “Good God, don’t let my sons be like their father–or his brothers–or their father.” There. I said it. And I mean it. Only my eldest sometimes detours that way, much to my dismay. If he was like his father as I met him in our 20s, OK. But to be like the man I divorced years later? Well, that is a hard pill to swallow. The man who buys himself a Harley Davidson but texts me multiple times, furious that I took his son to a doctor to diagnose a double ear infection because it’s “too expensive”—well, I don’t wish this man on anyone. The one who smiles in public and saves the ugly for behind closed doors. I raised my sons to be anything but that. I just have no control over what sticks.

I needed to hear “Oh Happy Day” sung by a man with a preacher voice, backed up by women who can belt out a chorus like nobody’s business, because working for myself is as wonderful as it is scary. Because the global corporations and executives I work with are in a constant state of flux. Because I know I’m a good writer but writing is subjective. One person’s rock star writer is another’s schmuck. When I look too far ahead, I catch my breath in sudden worry, wondering why I can’t make myself go back to corporate America. Even though I know why. A million times over I know why.

I thank God every day for the good. And there’s a lot of it. It’s just been a week in which my midlife crisis intersects with daily life. A week in which I can’t wait to travel to all of the places I put off traveling to—the destinations I turned down business trips for as I raised young children. And yet, a week in which I know I and I alone must find a way to pay for seeing the world. Must find peeps who enjoy more than backyard barbecues and comparing bank accounts. Those who aren’t voyeurs but adventurers in life.

As my son scarfed down his chicken and waffles, I dug into a jalapeno/corn muffin. I raised my glass to Thea and her friends, sitting just a table over. “Isn’t this great, Kristine?” she yelled. “We’re trying something different. We love your city!”

Just then, the choir sang, “Jesus will fight the battle for you.”

And I took it as another sign from the Universe. If JESUS can show up to lead me downtown on a random Sunday morning, I’m certain he can fight the battle for me this week—a week in which I’m a tad tired of the skirmish.

Oh Happy Day.

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47 Comments Add yours

  1. Gosh I admire you! I love your vim and vigour .. Your honesty and writing prowess. What a treat to follow your blog! Go girl …

    1. candidkay says:

      Thank you 🙏🏻. Thank you for reading a post filled with vulnerability and seeing vim, vigor and all good things. Those are part of me :-). Thanks for noticing.

  2. G'amma-D says:

    Oh happy day, indeed! Sounds like you had a wonderful day. You keep on lifting prayers for that boy of yours. One of the hardest things to do, as a mom, is to watch our children grow into adults and know that we are not the ones in control. You keep on letting Jesus lead you. HE will not lead you wrong.

    Be blessed!

    1. candidkay says:

      Thank you. Kind words.

  3. reocochran says:

    I have three kids, one seems more grounded and she is on her path to fulfill dreams. . . The other two have children, so this puts their priorities as how to be a good parent and trying to bring out their children’s best selves. Hugs for you and prayers for all of you, Kristine. 🕊️

    1. candidkay says:

      Thank you! Much appreciated.

  4. Synchronicity to the max!! Love it! As for your son, I guess all we can do is hit our knees and send prayers out there that he gets the life lessons he came in to learn. And that they aren’t too painful.

    That gospel music sounds wonderful – could use a dose myself lately.

    1. candidkay says:

      Right! I do believe that we all came here to learn lessons. I know you do too. And that sometimes the lessons have a little to do with me :-).

  5. fritzdenis says:

    Boys and young men have to try on different models of manhood to find the one that fits. I spent a lot of my twenties trying hard not to be my father, and I’ve managed to live a different life than his, to break the mold. But I know that he’s in there somewhere, and I’ve mostly come to accept that. And I’ve also realize that he influenced me in good ways, and that he evolved into a better person. There’s hope for everyone.

    Your son has a long way to go. Godspeed to him and to you.

    1. candidkay says:

      Thank you. Always helpful to hear from someone who is beyond the curve.

  6. Great uplifting post Kristine – it is sometimes interesting deciding what to share especially if those who read it know you personally – most of those who read my blog are strangers and often on different continents, but I was a little taken aback recently to find that some of my family members had been reading – it does give you pause about what you’re going to share.

    1. candidkay says:

      I hear you. Many of the people that read my blog or strangers from different parts of the world. But, I have realized that I have many local readers also. And I welcome that-I just don’t welcome those who read out of morbid curiosity rather than to truly have a dialogue.

  7. markbialczak says:

    I am so glad you found the divine touch you needed this week, Kay. I so hope your eldest feels the guidance in his soul provided by your good book of upbringing as well.

    1. candidkay says:

      Thank you, Mark. Kind words and I will take them :-).

  8. Dale says:

    Oh my dear… this is another of those times where I wish we lived close enough to get together over a glass or five of wine and speak to each other of what we are going through to realise we are not alone. And to have the other one tell you that you’re doing fine. That all we can do is keep showing them the good and hope that it rubs off. We might not see it immediately but I like to believe when it is time, we will… That Universe is such a sneaky thing…

    1. candidkay says:

      I believe we will also :-). Can’t wait for the day!

      1. Dale says:

        😀 Remind me again of how far I must travel for this to happen?
        ‘Coz you’re right. It will 🙂

      2. candidkay says:

        Chicago is not too awful, right?!

      3. Dale says:

        I love Chicago… just looking for a reason to go back….😉

  9. You answered your own worries: ” I just have no control over what sticks.”

    You don’t. Your oldest is old enough to be what he wants to be, there is not much you can do about it.

    1. candidkay says:

      I say this in the kindest possible way: your words are spoken as those of one who is not a parent. I would like to have the same conversation years from now if you have children :-). I believe your response might be different. They are true-your words-but they lack the new ones and depth it comes from having brought another life into this world and the responsibility to shepherd it.

  10. Loved this! God always has a sense of humor. Oh happy day! You are such a warrior! And ugh to those who read and judge. People are so weird. They need a new hobby. At least you gift them your brilliant writing and insight, each time.

    1. candidkay says:

      Thank you! I normally don’t think about what others think. But we all have our moments🙄

  11. Ah Kristine, there you have seen for yourself the meaning of life. How many times have you heard someone say ‘your just like your mom/dad’ at home or a gathering. We cannot be anything but those people we love and look up to, even though the universe puts us through many things outside of that, it’s those tender years where it all gets absorbed because there is no one else to teach us at that critical stage. But alas, they are only taught from those that have also been taught themselves the same way, from another parent who has taken on those ‘faults’ at their critical growth in those tender years. And down the generations it goes.
    I asked spirit about this ‘thing’ that we all go through and spirit refused to speak to me. Which usually means I’m about to get a lesson. So after many years I finally gave up in the realisation that there is no way to change it…it is not supposed to change because it is needed to find that self love. We must go through those horrible things we have been taught about ourselves by those well meaning parents until we finally say within…’I can’t do this any more, I’m worth so much more than this’, after ending up curled in a ball on the floor crying our hearts out after going through that ‘dark night of the soul’ when everything seems to be going to hell in a hand basket.
    And this journey asked us to look deep inside so that we will look at ourselves and face the un-faceable, those fears that keep us locked fast behind the many walls that we have built to protect ourselves, that in fact only block us from the very love and happiness we have searched for. Once we see that child again in ourselves, facing that pain and hurt that did those transformations in the beginning, we will see a young immature mind trying to handle something that causes so much angst and pain, emotionally and physically, doing the one and only thing that they can…is to build a wall against it because they did not have the maturity at that age to understand why they were being treated so badly.
    That wall has to come down and the only way to do so is to ask ourselves to go to that one place we are afraid of, those very fears that we avoid like the plague because of the hurt and pain, but in we must go to break that wall down…and finally be free. It is in enduring this very hard journey that finally does the one thing that everything else will not…to love ourselves with great empathy and compassion ‘because’ of what we have endured, and set our hearts free, no longer bound by that terror in our hearts.
    Either that or we go to every parent and school and tell them they are wrong, and tell them how those children should really be brought up…could you imagine the uproar 😀
    Glad your happiness is showing and being shared in your singing. The voice has great power, especially when it is spoken from the heart. It can create or remove many things, it is in finding that truth that all things are possible. Fear is a lie that we tell ourselves over and over, giving it power and reducing our own ❤
    Beautiful share young lady, especially when standing in your truth ❤

    1. candidkay says:

      Thank you, Mark. I’m not sure my response can do your rich thoughts justice. But yes—I do believe we go through things to learn. And do mistakes must be made. I just wish—for both my boys—goodness, kindness, inside and out. I guess a fairly universal mother’s wish💫

      1. They will be fine, they also pick up the good bits they are taught too…we get both sides in all we do. Like understanding and appreciating happiness because unhappiness has shown us the other side. Everything has a darker and lighter side, that balance that the universe is built on. By knowing one we can know and appreciate the other. And we are on this conditional world so that we will truly know and appreciate the unconditional when it arrives. Fear is those conditions we place on ourselves and once resolved and understood…then something magical happens. Yes we are free from an incredible burden, and even more calm and patient…but underneath that is something that will suddenly bloom, hold us fast in its beauty and allow us to truly understand love and what unconditional truly means.
        I keep trying to get my wings out so I can really sing in the heavens…but not just yet. Like you I will just have to settle for that beautiful sound that those grounded voices of Gospel they make when hearts come together 😀

  12. Hallelujah Sister! Sometimes the universe gives us exactly what we need. In between those times. Pray and let go 🙏🏻😇 And BTW don’t you stop writing for anyone! It’s a gift to you and us. 💕💚

    1. candidkay says:

      Aw, 🙏🏻 thank you:). Letting go! I appreciate the reminder.

  13. Michele Coppess says:

    Just to let you know…you’re my “rock star writer”. I’ve shared your blog with more people than I can count. Thank you for sharing your beautiful, insightful, honest gift!

    1. candidkay says:

      Oh, thank you! Not only because that made me very happy but also because I write to help people think/feel/process in a new way. And it’s about my only talent:). So helping me reach new people–well, for that I’m eternally grateful! Thanks, Michele. Hugs.

  14. I relate to this in so many ways. I have tried to find a place of more calm than confrontation before writing again. I want my writing to be thoughtful rather than reactionary. As a result, though, I’m stymied. And that can mean I’ve allowed the bullies, braggarts and haters to silence me. As a solution, I have sought kinship where I can find it. Last week I went to a rally in support of immigrants, part of a campaign my daughter is involved with during her summer at home from attending college in Canada. Sometimes the best we can hope for is to be around people who think like we do and see injustice the way we do. Keep writing. Take time to reflect when you need it. And most of all, trust your heart. Find those other kindred spirits — like those wonderful women you encountered recently — and share a smile, a sense of heartache, a hope for better times. We must stand together. We must stand up for one another. Your conscience is a glorious thing.

    1. candidkay says:

      My prayer is that all of the divisiveness is coming up to be healed, rather than to cause more harm. I do believe it had to come to light at some point. If any good can come from having this awful man in office, it should be that dark gets exposed to light . . .

  15. stolzyblog says:

    Know what you mean about the ones who read to judge, to pounce. This tendency is affecting a lot more than merely religious or personal sentiment nowadays. Almost like a policing of honest dialog. Keep going!

    1. candidkay says:

      “A policing of honest dialog” is a good way to put it. And we write in a moment–we dive into what others don’t–precisely because it’s what we do that makes people think or feel in a new way. And it may just be our feeling in that moment–it doesn’t mean we don’t still laugh or enjoy in others. Writing should be free–and some use it to pin me down, define me, in a way that I don’t prefer. I’m betting you get this.

  16. suemclaren24 says:

    As an 85 year old friend reminded me yesterday, the Universe provides. Let the Universe take care of “it”, whatever “it” is. We have been in agreement over this for as long as we have been friends (nearly 30 years). For some, Jesus is the Universe; for others the definition is more, or less, expansive. Never mind; the concept has tided me over some crucial times in my life. I am very grateful, and occasionally need to be reminded that (a) I am not in control and (b) help is available for the asking. Another top notch blog entry. Thank you.

    1. candidkay says:

      Thank U! These words were a bomb for my soul this morning. That reminder-that I am not in charge-is such a good one. And every time I turn it over, it turns out better than I could’ve imagined. I appreciate the kind words. Have a happy Monday.

  17. I hear you and certainly sympathize about your president – actually I’m a tad afraid for all of us. Now he’s against breastfeeding, can you believe it?

    1. candidkay says:

      Sigh. I know. I take no responsibility for having elected him. I am just so very worried that so many of the people who did are not yet admitting that he is just an unkind, unstable person.

      1. Maybe they don’t want to admit making such a huge error in judgement. Or not. Maybe they don’t care about equal rights, humanitarianism, etc.

  18. Thanks for again being willing to be vulnerable. May Jesus ease your challenges and show the way. Hugs from a fan afar, Brad

    1. candidkay says:

      Thanks, Brad. I really appreciate the kind words. It’s always nice to log back on to kind words instead of crickets :-).

      1. You’re most welcome. 🙂

  19. My midlife crisis has been flaring up lately, too. It must be something in the air. 🙂

    1. candidkay says:

      Funny-I wrote a blog post several years ago saying I thought I had avoided my midlife crisis :-). Famous last words. I hope you are able to find a bit of peace in meditation, a glass of bubbly, or a good friend :-). Good books always work for me too.

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